Jordan Koschei jordan koschei

Twenty-Eight

In light of my twenty-eighth birthday, I took some time to reflect on 28 bits of wisdom I’ve gleaned. Here’s the list — far from comprehensive — in no particular order:

  1. Most people who claim to have an opinion haven’t actually put in the work to hold it honestly.
  2. Everyone has a religion, even if they don’t know it. Everyone is worshipping something.
  3. Only the rich can afford not to care about art.
  4. Eating is a political act.
  5. A lot of people who claim to care about social justice actually care more about feeding their own sense of self-righteousness.
  6. “Favorite” is not the same as “best.”
  7. Data can inform, but it can’t make decisions for you. It reflects the past, but can’t perfectly predict the future.
  8. Most adults are just aged-up adolescents. It’s rare to find a real adult.
  9. Nobody really knows what they’re doing.
  10. Many people use their political party to fill the hole that would previously have been filled with religion.
  11. A shocking number of people let their politics determine their theology, rather than vice versa. If we think in terms of first principles, your theology should drive your philosophy should drive your politics. Very important not to get this backwards.
  12. Politics is less important than you think; what you believe about the nature of God and the universe is more important than you think.
  13. What you believe about the nature of God and the universe determines everything about your life, even (and especially) if you don’t know it.
  14. Few things are more deeply satisfying than cooking a good meal for people you love using ingredients whose origins you know.
  15. Classical music will change your life. If you don’t listen to it because you “don’t like it” or it makes you uncomfortable, you’re letting a little initial friction stop you from appreciating the best of what humanity has to offer. Same for great art, great literature, etc.
  16. You can’t not communicate.
  17. You can’t prioritize everything. You have to pick and choose.
  18. Your relationship with screens says a lot about who you are.
  19. Want to improve your life? Change your habits, not your goals.
  20. Compound interest is a powerful force. Improve something by 1% every day, and you’ll hit a 100% improvement in 72 days.
  21. Pascal was right: “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
  22. Beware of trusting someone who says they don’t care about history.
  23. Read voraciously. Your library card is one of the most valuable things in your possession.
  24. Read physical books. Digital books don’t sink in the same way — screens affect the brain differently than paper.
  25. Modern life doesn’t afford many opportunities to develop true grit. Build in opportunities to do so throughout the day — even if it means waking up with a frigid shower.
  26. People > Experiences > Places > Things
  27. There are lots of people smarter and wiser than you.
  28. The people who think themselves wisest are usually the most ignorant. True wisdom is knowing that you aren’t wise.